There are many ways to stop a dog from chewing everything. While puppies chew for discovery and teething, adolescent dogs chew out of boredom, pain, anxiety, isolation or just for fun! Once the motivation for chewing is identified it’s easier to find a solution on how to stop a dog from chewing.
8 Steps to stop power chewing everything
Dog and puppy chewing is a natural behavior to explore the environment. The one thing to be aware of is that when a dog chews everything it can become a compulsive behavior. The best way to deter a pup or adolescent dog from chomping through your home is to provide alternatives.
Try distracting your dog with these 8 tips for power chewers.
- Provide indestructible toys or puzzle toys.
- Treat with super-sized, long-lasting chews that keep his teeth clean.
- Set him up for success by dog-proofing your home. Make sure items like shoes, clothes and any prized possessions are picked up and put away.
- Exercise your dog before leaving him for a time period with an appropriate chew toy.
- If your dog chews something that is not his, give him the verbal instruction “No” then redirect him to chewing an approved toy.
- Coat items you cannot move such as tv wires with a pet-friendly, natural bitter repellant.
- Give a verbal warning such as “no” and then draw her attention to an acceptable toy.
- Praise your pup for chewing on an approved object.
What type of chewer is your dog?
It’s important to understand why your dog is chewing before you get to how to stop your dog from chewing. Every new puppy or dog parent should expect a certain amount of destruction from curiosity-based or tension-relieving oral tendencies of a pet.
The solution to the problem lies in removing the environmental cause and guiding the dog towards the appropriate objects to chew. Once you understand the motivation for chewing, apply one of these in-home-training techniques.
The Bored/Unstimulated Dog
Just like humans, dogs can become bored if they don’t receive enough mental stimulation or exercise. As a result, your dog may look for ways to amuse himself or alleviate boredom, including destructive chewing.
How to help your dog
- Provide plenty of exercise for both body and mind.
- Give your dog plenty of people-time.
- Provide a confinement area and be sure to remove all things he shouldn’t chew.
- Teach him to love being in his crate.
- Leave him with an inedible chew bone – ones that are not easily consumed or change their form as the dog gnaws at them.
- For the first two weeks, the dog cannot be allowed any unsupervised time.
- In the third week, put the dog in his crate with the door open and leave for about 10-20 minutes.
- If you return home to any destruction your dog is probably anxious about being separated from you.
The Anxious Dog
Some dogs can become anxious when left alone or when their family isn’t present. One common symptom of separation anxiety can be destructive chewing. While treatment can sometimes be tricky, here are tips that may help your dog feel more comfortable when alone.
How to help your dog
- Give him plenty of physical and mental stimulation prior to leaving.
- Crate or confine your dog to a single room when he’s home alone. If your dog is not crate trained or the crate causes additional stress, try switching to confining him one room.
- Be sure to remove things from his environment that he should not chew
- Never use the crate for punishment.
- Consider adding a daily supplement like Calming Care to his food to help manage anxiety.
- Provide him with a high-value treat like a Kong. Before leaving him in his crate, rub the Kong or toy between your palms.
- Once the acceptable treat has your scent, it may help focus your dog on this object.
- Make your departure and return home calm. No prolonged goodbyes or excited hellos.
- Start with leaving your dog home alone for very short periods of time. The goal is to return before he becomes anxious and starts chewing everything and anything.
- Once your dog becomes comfortable being alone for shorter periods of time, slowly increase it.
If your dog is hurting himself trying to escape the crate and suffers severe separation anxiety, speak to your veterinarian about recommendations on how to calm your dog. Another way to help your pup is to contact an animal behavior consultant.
Chewing is a common complaint among those caring for dogs younger than one-year-old. Part investigation, part teething, and all fun, chewing is a rewarding activity likely to be repeated.
How to help a teething puppy
- Create a safe puppy-proofed area or crate.
- Get down at puppy eye level to scope out potential problems.
- When you cannot supervise your puppy, place him in the approved, safe area with an inedible chew or puzzle toy.
- Invest in a variety of chew toys appropriate to the size and chewing preferences of your dog.
- Always observe your puppy chewing in new toys closely to make sure they’re suitable.
- Throw away any damaged toys or sticky remains.
- Alternate the chews to maintain interest.
- Save the most desirable chews and toys for crate time or when the puppy is left alone.
Which chew toy may be right for your dog?
Providing your dog with plenty of his own chew toys and removing items he shouldn’t chew from his environment can go a long way to help set him up for success. Learn which chew toy might be right for your dog!
Dog chews and toys such as Nylabones bones, rawhide and rubber toys all have their pros and cons. Learn how to choose the best size, material and strength of chew or toy when you are researching how to stop a dog chewing on everything.
|What you can give your dog to chew on and what to pick up & put away|
|Chew Toys||Treat Dispense Toys||Items to put away|
|Busy Bones||Busy Buddy||Clothes|
|Nylabones||IQ Treat Ball||Remote controls|
|Rollhide & rawhide||Books|
|Lil’ Drummies||Small items|
Learn more about caring for a dog